TR: 5 Days In Orlando - Memorial Day Weekend


<font color=blue></font><br><font color=red>Manhat
Feb 10, 2004
Day 1 - BGT and IOA

Flew the redeye from LAX to MCO and got in at 6am.

Picked up our rental car and went straight to BGT since we were scheduled to meet up with their PR dept an hour before the park opened.

Met up with plenty of time to spare, and rode Shakira twice to get the footage we needed. The ride is much better than I thought it would be. Really quite a lot of fun! I would "kind of" compare it to the SUF's in that there are parts of it that are REALLY good, and parts that are just 'ok.' Overall, I think I liked it better than SUF and it was VERY well themed up!

The splashdown ending, for example was just REALLY well done. Thumbs up of from all of us! Both drops were really good, and while it may not be as "forceful" as rides like Kumba or Montu, it delivered more forces, both positive and negative G's that we were expecting. And with the recent B&M's, we didn't think it would be.

We did a lap around BGT - rode Montu twice, Kumba once, Cheetah Chase (finaly rode this after, what two years it's been there?), Scorpion and then we headed out.

Got to our hotel, Universal's Royal Pacific, around 3:30, got our front of the line pass and got to IOA around 4ish.

We managed to do nearly a complete lap including Hulk, Spiderman, Buzzsaw, Bluto, JP, F.U. (Flying Unicorn), and dragon hopped three times!

The only thing we didn't hit was Cat In The Hat and 1 Fish, 2 Fish. We'll do those on Saturday.

By now, we were totally wiped out and ready for bed! =)

Day 2 - Epcot, & MGM

Friday morning - we started out at Epcot. Went right to Soarin'. Nice queue, identical to DCA's other than that. We found it quite interesting that there was NO merchandise for this ride...AT ALL! We asked several leads in a number of different merch locations and they simply said "they just didn't make any." Odd.

We did Test Track and Mission Space, then did the tour of 'ghetto boat rides in World Showcase.' The "Mexican It's a Small World" and the "Norway - We have Trolls, Polar Bears, and Oil Rigs Ride." Ok so Norway isn't that ghetto, but it's weird! =)

Friday afternoon - Went to lunch at Big River Brewery. Good beer (says Elissa's dad) and good meatloaf.

Next up...MGM! We managed to get in 4 rides on "Good Tower" (Jon was this Tower craps all over DCA's!), 1 ride on coaster, Elissa got into the hot seat in Millionaire (again!), we saw the stunt show (which I actually think the Paris version might be a little better), and did a little shopping.

The interesting thing about the Lights, Motors, Action stunt show is that they didn't have the guest participation that I remembered in the Paris version. And there was also a water ski part that was really lame, which I don't remember the Paris version having. Overall, though, it's a REALLY good show...and we don't normally do shows!

Friday night - Back to Universal, went to dinner with some friends and just 'crashed' out in the lobby lounge with them chatting about the most random stuff in the world. It was SOOOOO much better than being at any theme park! :P

Day 3 - Back to Universal!

Today would be our 'all day at Universal/IOA day.' And it really did kick ***, especially with the front of the line pass.

We did pretty much EVERYTHING!

Mummy a bunch of times, MiB a bunch of times, Jaws, Shrek, Jimmy Neutron, Dragons a bunch of times, Hulk a bunch of times, Spiderman, Posiden's Fury, JP, Ripsaw, 1 Fish 2 Fish, Doom, Cat In The Hat, etc, etc, etc.....

Lunch was at Mythos, and OMFG this is still the best food in any theme park EVER!!! And this time my normal entrees were not there! No Balsamic Chicken, no Spicy Asian Wings, no Tortillia Soup. But I had the most KICK *** nachos....hard to even describe, and this HUGE Chinese chicken salad. Followed of course by the warm gooey banana chocolate cake! Yum!

I give Universal kudos for allowing the resort guests to have unlimited express passes. I can't wait for Disney to implement something like this. As soon as they do, I guarantee we'll be staying at least one night in a Disney Deluxe hotel every visit! It's so worth it, too. For example, with our AP discount, Royal Pacific was $159 per night. You'd probably end up spending at least $60 in some cheaper hotel, and the book of express plus passes cost $30 per person PER PARK on that Saturday! So had we stayed off property and gotten the Express Plus tickets, it would have cost us $180 and you only get one ticket per ride. Staying on property was a much better deal!

Day 4 - Back to Disney & a visit to Sea World!

We started the day off at Epcot, mainly so that Jon could take the monorail and we headed over to Magic Kingdom. The park was I'd never seen it before! It looked like "Tokyo Disneyland" PACKED! But we did good FastPassing our way around the park.

We got on Thunder, Splash, Mansion, and Pirates in about 2 hours. Space went down, but we got our fastpasses exchanged for rider switch passes so we can come back later.

Then off to MGM for lunch at Mama Melrose's (yummy stuff!). Played Millionaire again and Elissa was #1 on the board the whole time, but she couldn't go into the hot seat since she was just there. Oh well.

Tried to get on "Good Tower", but it was down. Boo...

Next up was Sea World for a quick run in, and we got two rides on Kraken and one ride on Journey visit.

Kraken still remains one of my favorite B&M's and Busch has really kept it up nicely over the years.

Then we went BACK to MK again to use our rider switch passes only to find out that Space was down.....AGAIN! Luckily they let us use one pass on Buzz, and by the time we were out, Space was open again, and we got our two rides on it! Yay!

Day 5 - Typhoon Lagoon and Epcot

Crush N Gusher is AWESOME! I was really not expecting them to be that great, because we didn't think any of the Master Blasters at Schlitterbahn were anything that special. Fun, but not amazing. These were better than all three of those!

They are VERY short, but each one of them is FAST, has a couple of good drops, and Coconut Gusher has this camelback hill that gives you airtime...TWICE!!!

We rode all three of them and Coconut twice. They really were that good...although short. If you like good waterpark slides, we highly recommend getting out to Typhoon Lagoon!

Make sure you get there first right after the park opened as we spent about 25 minutes at the Crush N Gusher complex and when we left the line was already about 20-30 minutes long.

The rest of the park was pretty easy to do at this point, since most people were at Crush N Gusher. The Family raft ride wasn't as bad as Elissa said it would be. It's short...REALLY REALLY short, but then again it was one of the first family raft rides in the world.

The wave pool is great with the 6 foot waves that it makes and the other body and tube slides were fun too. There isn't as much to do at Typhoon Lagoon as there is at Blizzard Beach, but Crush N Gusher is worth the trip alone.

We got back to Epcot around 5ish and went looking for Jeremy at Turtle Talk, but he wasn't around, so off we went to go meet up with people. We found George, then met up with Kevin Yee and his wife and son and we went into our Imagination.

After that we headed over to Japan, checked in with the restaurant and met Ted, Jeff, Justin, Reed, Stacey, and the whole group we were meeting up with.

The dinner meet went pretty good. 13 of us showed up for dinner, then another 5 showed up for Illuminations, although not everyone made it through the show since it started to downpour about 10 minutes before the show was to start! The rain only lasted about 15 minutes, as typical Florida storms usually do, then the show went on. The fire barge was missing, which was a bummer, but overall Illuminations is still my favorite "nighttime" show.

After the show we said our goodbyes and came back to the hotel and packed up. Time to head back to the real world. =(

It was a GREAT trip and hopefully we'll have a photo update and a SheiKra video up soon!

--Robb Alvey


Bad to the Bone
Apr 29, 2001
You guys were able to pack a lot of things into your time. Did you get a chance to see any shows in US?


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